U.S. Politics

The Stunning Audacity of Putin’s Cash Demands

The standard policy prescription for Washington’s dealings with Russia is situational: Agree to disagree on certain issues, but try to find areas where cooperation is possible.

The areas where the two nations can cooperate, however, have drastically diminished over the past week.

The United States on October 7 demanded a war crimes investigation of Russia for its air strikes in Syria, particularly in Aleppo. Washington also formally accused Russian government-sponsored hackers of direct interference in the U.S. presidential election.

America’s Russia Policy Has Failed

By any number of measures, Washington’s Russia policy has failed. While ostensibly suffering from diplomatic and economic isolation under a U.S.-led international sanctions regime, Moscow has succeeded in challenging a wide range of American interests, most notably in Ukraine, Syria, and cyberspace. Coming up with a new approach on Russia should therefore be a top priority for either President Hillary Clinton or President Donald Trump soon after Jan. 20, 2017.

Election 2016: Russia and the Next US President

Beyond the campaign, a new US President will need to deal with Vladimir Putin’s Russia with more than rhetoric. Kennan Institute Director Matt Rojanksy frames the challenge facing the next administration.

Going Beyond Sanctions to Denuclearize North Korea


While denuclearization should remain the goal of U.S. policy, freezing North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs should be a priority. However, sanctions alone will not be enough to get North Korea to freeze these activities.

Policy Recommendations:

Recognizing the limits of sanctions on North Korea:

U.S. Policy in South Asia: Imperatives and Challenges


Sustained bilateral and multilateral U.S. engagement in South Asia is of the essence. Three major factors amplify the importance of placing South Asia on the crowded front burner of U.S. foreign policy priorities: Threats to stability emanating from the region, the overall strategic significance of South Asia, and several notable geopolitical shifts. These shifts are the U.S. combat withdrawal from Afghanistan, an accelerating American rebalance to Asia, and resilient and expanding global terrorist networks.

Vladimir Putin, Aleppo and the Diplomatic Shambles in Syria

The U.S. withdrawal from the Syria talks exposed the diplomatic process for what it has been since February: a Potemkin Village construct that has played far more to Moscow’s advantage than to Washington’s.

Vilification of Saudi Arabia Serves No Good Purpose

The vilification of Saudi Arabia has become a fashionable but highly risky game in Washington today.  Congress has passed overwhelmingly a bill that would lift Saudi Arabia’s sovereign immunity to allow 9/11 families to sue its government for its alleged support of the worst terrorist attack ever inside the United States.

Public Opinion and America's Next Global Priorities

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are set to have a historic clash on foreign policy. But what are the views of the American people – Democrats, Republican, and Independents – and how do these reflect or inform party platforms?

The 2016 Chicago Council Survey of American public opinion on US foreign policy will reveal the partisan divisions, as well as surprising convergences, on topics such as trade, immigration, terrorism, and climate change.

On the Docket: A Look at the 2016-2017 Supreme Court Term

The panel discussion will feature prominent Supreme Court practitioners and scholars providing their expert insights on the upcoming term. The program is free and open to the public.  Register today to ensure yourself a seat for this intriguing and far-ranging discussion.

Conducted by the American Bar Association Division for Public Education, the American University Washington College of Law, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.